Examining the Virus Scan Results of Several Anti-Virus Programs and What You Can Do To Get Your Computer Running Smoothly Again
This series is designed to entertain and enlighten you about the serious yet exciting subject of computer viruses. Please do not take this wrong, the security of your computer is of utmost importance to us. But, our hope is to empower you in shining a light on these pesky digital critters. Perhaps you will learn what precautions to take in order to protect quarantine and remove just about any type of virus you may find in your computer by the end of this series.
This all started the other day when I was looking for a file on the desktop of my computer and I noticed a file called “Access.” When I opened the file there was nothing inside of it, so I asked my wife if she created it for later use. Although she is not a technological guru, she definitely knows her way around the computer. As a result, when she told me she had never seen the file before immediately red flags went up for me.
With a sense of urgency I updated the Microsoft Security Essentials, SuperAntiSpyware, and Malwarebytes programs I have installed, unplugged my computer from the internet and started to run full system scans. Within twenty minutes of initiating the scans, a positive for a Trojan Virus was discovered.
Sure enough, the suspicious “Access” file that miraculously appeared on desktop triggered the positive finding.
With a healthy sense of paranoia I immediately began looking for my recovery disks and started to prepare myself mentally for the two day process of diagnosing my hardware, cleaning out whatever malicious software found, and restoring my computer back to factory settings. And then it dawned on me that perhaps I may not need to. And even more so over perhaps I may be able to survive this threat without doing the full blown professional virus removal that I have always done for myself and for customers all these years?
Calculating the amount of time it would take to run through each step, and talking it over with my wife, I decided to do what I would normally do for anyone in the same situation. In the most simplest of technical terms, I decided to “Wipe it out.”
Begin With a Diagnosis
First and foremost I always recommend beginning with performing a complete hardware diagnostics on your computer. I have lost count of how many computers I’ve initiated a virus or malware removal on, only to learn later on that there was an existing hardware failure at the very end of the process.
As such, it is always a good idea to start off with examining the hardware on your computer first. Knowing right up front if your hard drive is on the last leg of its life will save you a great deal of time and often money depending on who you take your computer to.
If you are an advanced technician, a beginner, or someone just trying to Google your way out of the problem and you have a brand name computer such as an HP, Compaq, Dell or Gateway. There is a good chance that you have a built in hardware diagnostics program already pre-installed inside of your computer.
This allows you to select a key or combination of keys as your computer is booting or in Windows and access testing software to perform a hardware diagnostic. Unfortunately, if you have a virus, it may be quite difficult to do anything at all within the Windows environment. Which would make partition based testing the best option for you. If you want to save yourself some time and money you may want to do this part on your own.
In Part 2 of this Series we will discuss the various methods available to you for diagnosing your computer hardware for Free.